Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser’s new studio has hired veterans he worked alongside for many years. His new endeavour, “Absurd Ventures“, has also teased when some some big announcements will be happening. On top of that, new trademarks have been uncovered which may have given us the name of upcoming projects.
After he created headlines when he left Rockstar Games in March 2020, the storied games developer joined NFT/web3 studio Revolving Games as an adviser and investor. Then back in June, Mr Houser announced Absurd Ventures. The company said in a press release “Absurd is building narrative worlds, creating characters, and writing stories for a diverse variety of genres, without regard to medium, to be produced for live-action and animation; video games and other interactive content; books, graphic novels, and scripted podcasts.”
Recruits from Rockstar
Another major departure from Rockstar Games in early 2020 was that of Lazlow Jones. Wildly know for his work on the Grand Theft Auto in-game radio stations, he was also a director, writer and producer at the company. His work spans many different franchises. Jones worked at Rockstar for almost two decades. Spotted by Obito Uchiha on the GTA Forums, according to Mr Jones’ LinkedIn profile he began working at Absurd as Executive Producer in June 2021.
Lazlow also notes he is a “Founding member of Absurd Ventures, a media company creating new IP, building narrative worlds and writing stories for a variety of genres, including live action, adult animation, video games, books, graphic novels and scripted podcasts.” The banner on his profile was changed to display Absurd’s logo.
On top of that, Michael Unsworth, the Vice President of Writing left the company after just over 16 years earlier this year. Spotted by Obito Uchiha on the GTA Forums, Mr Unsworth’s LinkedIn profile has been updated to show he started work at Absurd Ventures in October this year. His role is “Head of Story & Creative Management”. The banner on his profile was also changed to display Absurd’s logo.
Adam Tedman who had a 19 year tenure at Rockstar Games left in 2019. His stint ended as Vice President of New Media and he worked at Saber Interactive as Head of Marketing. Since August this year, Adam has been named Head of Marketing for Absurd Ventures.
Another notable employee of Absurd is its Head of Games: Greg Borrud. Greg is the co-founder of Pandemic Studios who created the original Star Wars Battlefront games.
Projects will be announced sooner than you think
Variety released an exclusive report this month announcing that the head of communications for talent agency CAA, Wendy Smith, would be chief operating officer at Absurd Ventures. The article reiterates the new company will “focus on creating characters and worlds that can be expressed in many different forms, including video games, TV, film and a wide range of multiplatform content.”
Wendy Smith spoke with Variety on Absurd and her new role. “Introducing new IP into the world is hard — games take a long time to produce and are very expensive.” To combat the issues that will arise, Absurd want to do smaller scale projects in the form of TV shows, podcasts and even graphic novels.
Smith went onto say the company has been hard at work in the last few months. She teased “We will have more announcements in the weeks ahead about projects that we’re already in pre-production and production on those IP universes.” So expect to hear something from Absurd Ventures before the new year then.
Trademarks might have revealed some game names
GTA Forums member deadasdisco shared two trademark filings owned by Absurd Ventures. Both AMERICAN CAPER and A BETTER PARADISE were filed at the end of July this year. These are included in several categories such as video game software, printed materials, clothing and entertainment.
Job descriptions talk games
GTA Forums member deadasdisco also noticed a job listing looking for PC/console games developers to work on the ground floor of a AAA original IP game. The roles open at the time were senior producer, director and designer positions. Other roles were being offered outside of the game department, specifically for the audio fiction and animated series sections. It was noted more jobs will be open in 2024.
Are you interested in Dan Houser’s new company? Let us know in the comments. Stay tuned to RockstarINTEL for news updates on Absurd Ventures and everything Rockstar Games.